Attested: RC Bolvelaunio
Where: Glastonbury, Somerset, whose Tor at ST51223862 sticks up from what used to be almost an island surrounded by marshes. The post-Roman monastery there was a major landlord and energetic land manager in an area where much land reclamation from marshes took place in Roman times.
Name origin: Bol- occurs in many later place names with a sense of ‘rounded hill’, from PIE *bhel- ‘rounded object’, as in ball, bole and bowl, and probably in Vindobala on Hadrian's Wall. About *vellaunus see Velunia.
Notes: The possibility that Bol- meant ‘bowl’, referring to the Somerset Levels, cannot be excluded. See here for a general discussion of Somerset's ancient names.
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Last Edited: 19 May 2018